Customer Reviews for

White Horse

Average Rating 4.5
( 19 )
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5 Star

(10)

4 Star

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  • Posted May 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I love apocalyptic or dystopia novels. All I've read previously

    I love apocalyptic or dystopia novels. All I've read previously tend to be for younger readers. At last here is one for adults. The first in what will be a trilogy, and with movie rights already in the works, WHITE HORSE is a winner.

    The language seems almost poetic and I would have kept reading for that reason alone. But, along with the excellent writing comes a terrific story about Zoe,a thirty-year-old woman who cleans cages in a medical laboratory where strange things begin to happen.

    Something has gone amok and people are dying everywhere. Those who don't die from the illness become mutations that are less than human. For some reason Zoe seems to be immune to the disease and as she fights to stay alive, she tries to hang on to her humanity and not give in to basic instincts that would involve killing to stay safe. It's not always possible.

    At first I had a small problem with the jumping back and forth from "then" and "now", but once I found my groove, I sailed along.

    Each book in the series can stand alone, though each is a part of the big picture, which you realize with the last sentence in this one. It creates high tension and keeps you turning the pages. I can hardly wait for the second part.

    I gave this book four stars.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 25, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A thrilling, horrifying adventure

    If you survived the end of the world, what would you become? Surely you don't imagine you'd remain the very same you, the you that you've come to know and love (and self-loathe at intervals.) Would you become a hero? A hermit? Or perhaps a looter, or a lunatic?

    What is left after every achievement you've gained in life becomes meaningless and you're stranded on the ashy other side of all you've ever known? Once someone (or something) has pushed the reset button on civilization, who will you be? And what will you cling to?

    Hopefully, these kinds of questions are all just hypothetical exercises for us here on B&N, but as I've always said, fiction is the best way to exercise your mental muscles for empathy, outrage, compassion, judgement, and interpretation. As such, Alex Adams' WHITE HORSE is one hell of a workout.

    In her debut novel, Adams treads a tightrope of excellent words over an abyss of death and destruction. And what little umbrella does she employ to to balance against the gusts? Hope.

    WHITE HORSE tells the story of Zoe Marshall's trek arcoss a world ravaged by a disease dubbed White Horse. She goes through wicked trials in her trans-Atlantic journey, fighting despair and digging for decency and dignity in her darkest moments. She risks all that's left in the search for the man she loves, in the hope that he has somehow survived the plague. Zoe jousts villains and collects allies from those who remain - the small percentage of people who have natural immunity from the virus, and also the others, a scattering of the changed: the ones who didn't die, but didn't exactly survive, either - not recognizably as themselves, at any rate.

    This isn't for the squeamish. But what apocalypse really is, if we're being honest?

    Highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This is a book that shows an apocalypse before during and after

    This is a book that shows an apocalypse before during and after. Something that's so frighteningly realistic that I wonder that it hasn't happened yet or if it will happen in my life time. The people are dying so rapidly that they have to burn the bodies. A war was being fought but it was forgotten when the sickness came on hard and fast and those that came home, came home to no one. Zoe for some reason along with a small portion of the population is immune to the sickness. And when everyone she loves, cares about, dies, she decides to go in search of the one person who may or may not be alive that means something to her.

    Zoe is determined. God is she determined. And she has hope. She doesn't believe in God. She thinks he's left them all. But the hope she has, that is what keeps her going. Hope. Four little letters but they have such strength in them for her. They help her rescue a blind girl from a rapist. Help her escape monsters, drowning. When she is too tired to walk she keeps walking. She finds companionship with the most unique living things. And hope is what helps her believe that somehow she'll reach her destination. That's a whole lot of hope.

    I did not feel very hopeful reading this novel. I was pretty sure humans were done for and most of the time I thought Zoe was going to die. Do not read this if you're depressed. It isn't uplifting even if Zoe has a lot of hope. It doesn't spill over. Adams throws one hurdle after another in front of Zoe until she seems to be superwoman to be able to continue. There is no time to mourn or hold hands and have a pity party. She's likely to be killed. Keep moving forward. That's Zoe's motto and she does, no matter who her companions may be. I sat here and read this straight through not stopping for meals, children, dogs or phone calls. I could not put it down. It was gripping and totally consuming. I had to know if Zoe made it, if all that hope was for nothing, if all the monsters were bad, if she'd find anyone at the end of her journey. I promise, despite it's graphic sexual violence (and you do finally understand it) and the general doom that comes with an apocalypse you will not be able to put this book down. It is an unbelievable story. It was almost too much for one book and I think I"ll have to read it again to absorb it. But when I read the last line of the novel I immediately wanted the next book in the series (this is a planned trilogy).

    The story is written in a "Then" and "Now" type of timeline and that works very well for the story. It doesn't give away too much up front nor does it keep us too much in the dark. The wording was a little jarring at times. "Horns are the spice sprinkled over relentless traffic. Bodies form an organic conveyor belt constantly grinding along the sidewalks." (p.14ARC) I had to pause and read these sentences a couple of times because they didn't read easy. There are many sentences like that and it took a while to get used to her way of writing. It's unique and I like it, but unusual. But as I said, I read the almost 300 page book in less than a day so it didn't bother me too much!

    I highly recommend this novel, a strong start in the series, to anyone that enjoys apocalyptic stories.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    As I began this novel I could not help but be reminded of Pandor

    As I began this novel I could not help but be reminded of Pandora's box. You know the one. The box, or more accurately, the jar that Pandora opens and lets forth all the evils in the world. The reason for that is, that from the very beginning of White Horse, the very same thing occurred. Though I doubt that whether or not Zoe would have opened it sooner or not at all would have prevented the utter devastation that happened upon the world.

    And it is brutal.

    People drop like flies. It starts out like the flu, and before you know it, you are dead, finished, kaput. There are survivors, or those that have immunity to this plague virus. But they are very few and far in between.

    But in the beginnings of this devastating event, a strong love between two people buds. And Zoe will stop at nothing until she finds him, dead or alive... She can't stop, because that one goal is one of the things that keeps her hope alive.

    Yes, there are survivors. But the world becomes very changed. Survival sometimes brings out the worst in people... if they are still people. Because there is the 'something else'. That something else was sometimes described... at other times, the writer tantalizes your senses and allows you to imagine the possible horror of what that person has now become. Some of the mutations even defy the imagination and fill you with horror. Others... sadness. Either way, it painted a bleak world even after the virus, called White Horse, made its deadly sweep of the globe.

    I really do love pandemic novels, and I know how that can sound really morbid. I certainly can't even begin to understand my fascination with it. I certainly am horrified of the idea, and maybe that is the root of my fascination. And I never seem to get tired of reading them.

    This novel was riveting, with excellent world building. I admit that I initially had a difficult time with the constant flashes in time, but I told myself to be patient, and soon enough, it all aligned and came together. This story really was terrifying. It felt realistic and believable, from the how and why of how the virus White Horse came to be, to the characters throughout this novel. You HATE the bad guys, you tear up for the innocent ones that suffer, you feel a deep sadness for the changed that deserved better even if that meant death.. or maybe even life depending on who I speak of.... And most of all, you hope that Zoe makes it to the finish line.

    This is the beginning of a great pandemic series that you don't want to miss.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2013

    Anonymous

    I didnt read this on my nook but a hard copy and loved it! The only thing is i really want to read red horse the second book but i cant find any info on when it is coming out.

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  • Posted May 20, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Zoe once lived an ordinary life, she had family and friends and

    Zoe once lived an ordinary life, she had family and friends and a decent job as janitor for Pope Pharmaceuticals. Then the world she knew spiraled out of existence leaving Zoe on a journey in a post-apocalyptic world making her way to Greece on a search for a better life. Through flashbacks we are able to see precisely how the world becomes a nightmare full of monsters lurking around every corner, those who were once human and those who are still human but lost their humanity somewhere in the chaos.  




    This novel starts off from the beginning as a harsh assessment of the monsters that human beings can become. This is a brutal story full of murder and unspeakable violence in a world that has been left ravaged; it is certainly not for the faint of heart. For the most part I liked this book, the flashbacks of how the world began to change was much more interesting to me then the “now” portion of the book until Zoe finally makes it to Greece and the author seems to open up and the post-apocalyptic world becomes even more enthralling than the downfall of mankind. The only problem I had with the book was the big bad villain was more annoying than anything else, but in the end it works into the story a bit better and you’re not rolling your eyes every time they show up. Plus with an ending like this one has chances are you’ll read book two regardless just to see what happens next. I was sent a free copy of this book for an honest review. 

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  • Posted December 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Oh. My. Gosh. This book is amazing! Without a doubt, it is one

    Oh. My. Gosh.

    This book is amazing! Without a doubt, it is one of the most incredible books I've read so far this year. And it's been a long year. The writing is beautiful beyond compare and the story is filled with so much emotion that it's bursting at the seams. Even without all of that, the very idea behind the story is intriguing. It doesn't need all of the glamor and glitz that a well versed author can tactfully shove in there because it's wonderful enough on its own. All of that is like the icing on top of the cake.

    This book was one of those that I was just not able to put down no matter how hard I tried. Not that I really wanted to, but sometimes humans tend to need such trivial things along the lines of water and sleep. This is not one of those books that you can just read in one sitting, unless you've got a whole lot of time on your hands and a bladder the size of a swimming pool.

    I think that there were pieces of this book that were for everybody. It's obviously a post-apocalyptic novel, but it's also a mystery, a contemporary novel, and, at times, a thriller. There's also a little bit of romance thrown in there for those who appreciate it, but it in no way takes over the story. Zoe is not your typical lovesick puppy type of heroine.

    Absolutely everything she does in this novel feels justified to me, which I appreciate more than words can describe. There's nothing worse than a main character that you feel you can't rely on because their author doesn't know them well enough to develop them as people first, before they stick them in a story and shove them along. Book characters are people too, so they should act like such: rationalizing their own decisions and refraining from metaphorically jumping around too much in their own minds.

    The best part about White Horse is that everything in it seems very real. The kind of events that take place here are not too absurd to believe, especially not the way Alex Adams describes them. Everything that happens in this novel could very well happen to us in the future, and that's what makes it such an interesting read. As all of the horrors are thrown at Zoe, we start to realize that her story is not so unlike our own, especially in the beginning.

    White Horse also makes you feel. It is such an emotionally proactive novel. Now, that emotion may vary anywhere between gut wrenching pity, beaming pride, sickening disgust, or raging fury, but that's what a good book is supposed to make us feel. Certainly not all emotions in life are positive and one-sided, so they shouldn't be in books either.

    And now for the icing on the aforementioned cake: the beautiful writing. There are so many passages in this book that I want to highlight, but most of them reveal something in one way or another. This one is still beautiful, not my absolute favorite, but at least it doesn't give away anything in the story.


    "Miracles are tiny things, meaningless except to the person who seeks one. To that one person, a miracle is everything. One happy event can change the course of a life. In the blackest moments, they hide.

    Wait...

    Wait...

    Ignoring prayers and pleading, miracles enjoy the element of surprise. They love those who would step forward and meet them halfway."


    Taylor

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  • Posted December 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    INTENSE!

    Told between two different times, noted as THEN and NOW, by Zoe, the central figure, WHITE HORSE is a story of a world disaster engineered by the greed of a premiere pharmaceutical company in search of a cure for cancer. What was created was an indestructible cancer virus that raged quickly through the body, either killing its host or mutating them in some way. The disease was named White Horse and ordinary Zoe Marshall is one of the questionably lucky 10% who survived.

    In the course of seeing a doctor for mental problems, Zoe falls in love and eventually must set off on a world wide quest to find him once again.

    Zoe's story of her life prior to the great apocalypse is cast against her present situation as she struggles to maintain some sort of humanity in a world that has gone feral. She will do what she must to survive, but holds tight to her compassion for others. Her willingness to give aid, comfort and strength to others is a beautiful thing to see. Of course, for every heroine, we have a villain, and 'The Swiss' is a twisted, dark being with a self-serving agenda.

    This has got to be one of the best post-apocalyptic tales I have read, told in a dark, gritty way that is entirely disturbing on every level, probably because it is totally within the realm of 'real.'
    The attention to detail in both the bleak scenes and the scenes that bring joy is brilliant!

    This copy was provided by NetGalley and Atria/Emily Bestler Books in exchange for an honest review!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2012

    A compelling read

    The story goes between the stories of Now and Then. Now is the tale of a woman desperately fighting in a post-apocalyptic land, trying to get to a village she considers her last hope for peace. Then is the story of how this tragedy came to be, from the eyes of a janitor (same woman from Now) at the pharmaceutical company responsible.

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  • Posted May 20, 2012

    I really enjoyed this book. After reading it in one sitting, I

    I really enjoyed this book. After reading it in one sitting, I had to quickly look to see what else this author has wrote. I discovered there is a second book in the White Horse series in the works and I can't wait to read it. The suspense build up was excellent and I fell head over heals for the characters. You really feel love in this book and you heart breaks with the characters and you cry and you are in the story yourself. Excellent read.

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  • Posted May 18, 2012

    Horrible

    Depressing book. There is no climax, just bad things happening again & again. Not worth your time.

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  • Posted May 17, 2012

    Very good

    This was part post-apocalyptic and part mystery. It is well written and easy to read. There is hope despite all the misery.

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  • Posted May 15, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Not your run of the mill apocalypse I don't usually like stream

    Not your run of the mill apocalypse

    I don't usually like stream of consciousness tales (or their close relatives) but this is engrossing, fascinating and an entirely new take on the apocalypse. A couple of unlikely occurrences get Zoe further towards her goal, but this is fiction. Some foreshadowing of the second novel, without giving away anything important away. Works as stand alone or the beginning of a series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2012

    Great story

    Very thoughful and beautifully done

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2012

    One of the best apocalyptic books i've read. It's hard to come

    One of the best apocalyptic books i've read. It's hard to come by them, hopefully more start coming out!
    It's a little more of an adult book though, compared to something like the Hunger Games. But i recommend it to everyone!

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    Posted April 22, 2012

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    Posted May 17, 2012

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    Posted April 24, 2012

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    Posted May 22, 2012

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